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The American instructor, or, Young man's best companion : containing, spelling, reading, writing and arithmetic, in an easier way than any yet published ; and how to qualify any person for business, without the help of a master ; instructions to write variety of hands ... ; how to write letters on business or friendship ; forms of indentures ... releases, &c. ; also merchant's accompts, and a short and easy method of shop and book-keeping ; with a description of the several American colonies ; together with the carpenter's plain and exact rule ... ; likewise the practical gauger made easy ... ; to which is added, The poor planter's physician ... and also prudent advice to young tradesmen and dealers ; the whole better adpated to these American colonies, than any other book of the like kind

Published 1770

First published in England in 1731

Erroneously attributed to Ann Fisher Slack in Halkett & Laing

"Every man his own doctor; or, The poor planter's physician" [by John Tennent]: pp. 344-378. Cf. entries for separately issued editions by Tennent in Austin, R. Early American medical imprints, 1961

Signatures: A-Q¹² R⁶


Shipton & Mooney


Rink, E. Technical Americana

Blake, J. NLM 18th cent.



NLM copy provenance: copious MS. markings of ownership on the endpapers, including inscriptions and ownership poems of Jacob Shew, Samuel Billington, Lodowick Putman Stephens [Stevens], and Arnasa Steevens [Stevens]; also recorded in contemporary MS. is a brief, late c18 Stevens family history, including the birth of a daughter (Chlora) in 1780 and the murder of Arnasa Stevens "by the Savages May 21: 1780"

NLM copy re-bound in quarter brown goatskin by Horton Bindery, 1975

Will digitize

Condition reviewed

Publisher New-York : Printed and sold by H. Gaine, at the Bible and Crown, in Hanover-Square
Language English
Digitizing sponsor Open Knowledge Commons, U.S. National Library of Medicine
Book contributor U.S. National Library of Medicine
Collection medicalheritagelibrary; medicineintheamericas; usnationallibraryofmedicine; americana

Full catalog record MARCXML


Reviewer: Robert B. Livingston - - March 25, 2014
Subject: Instruction for the autodidact on the eve of Revolution
This is a most fascinating book which provides a general and practical education in letters, mathematics, self-medication, and more.

There are many quaint passages with aphorisms and sentiments for the ambitious planter or entrepreneur.

Much is still practical, also giving insight into history and a general world view of one living c. 1770.

There are samples of business and legal correspondence to use as models-- again, fascinating.
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